For the second straight day and less than a day after his first presidential news conference, President Barack Obama has traveled the United States, trying to build public support for his economic stimulus proposal. This time, he spoke and took questions from a crowd in Fort Myers, Florida – a city with the nation’s highest rate of home loan foreclosures.
“We know that in order to address our economic crisis, we are going to have to help homeowners, not just banks, but the homeowners as well,” he said.
President Obama said he will unveil an overall housing strategy in the next few weeks. But he’s already looking at ways to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
As the president spoke in Florida, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus plan. The legislation will go to a committee which will work out differences with the recovery plan that passed the House of Representatives in January. The resulting bill will go to the president for his signature.
“We have had a good debate. That is part of what democracy is all about,” he said. “But the time for talk is over. Folks here in Fort Myers and across America – they need help; they need action and they need it now.”
Mr. Obama was introduced in Fort Myers by Charlie Crist, the popular Governor of Florida, who is one of few nationally-known Republican politicians to endorse the president’s economic recovery plan.
“This is not about partisan politics; this is about rising above that, helping America and reigniting our economy,” he said.
On Monday, the president addressed a community meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Later in the week, he will visit a factory in Peoria, Illinois, where workers are facing job cuts.